Oceanography: physical and biological ocean systems
The UBC calendar page for Oceanography specializations has formal degree specialization details.
Does a diverse combination of quantitative, physical, chemical and biological sciences appeal to you? Students pursuing a BSc degree in oceanography may be the most versatile of all science students. EOAS has over 60 faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students solving practical problems and pursuing scientific discovery locally and in all the oceans of the world. Undergraduate students benefit from this highly interdisciplinary and collaborative environment as courses are taught or co-taught by faculty across UBC’s science and applied science departments.
Opportunities open to geophysics graduates are summarized on our Career Pathways page.
Several Oceanography degree options are available, including Honours, Majors, a Minor, and combined degrees with other sciences. Honours programs involve a field course in which students develop and carry out their own research program. Enrolment in combined programs requires formal approval from advisors in both departments.
- BSc Combined Major Oceanography and Biology
- BSc Combined Major Microbiology and Oceanography
- BSc Combined Major Oceanography and Chemistry
- BSc Combined Major Oceanography and Physics
- BSc Honours Fisheries Oceanography
- BSc Combined Honours Oceanography and Another Science Subject
- BSc Combined Honours Oceanography and Biology
- Minor Oceanography
Guidelines for current students
- Please contact Oceanography advisors for details.
Faculty and Teaching
EOAS has over 60 faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students solving practical problems and pursuing scientific discovery locally and in all the oceans of the world. Students benefit from this highly interdisciplinary and collaborative environment as courses are taught or co-taught by faculty across UBC’s science and applied science departments. Teaching and research about the following subdisciplines are conducted in our department:
- physical oceanography, climate change, geophysical fluid dynamics,
- observational oceanography, remote sensing, properties of seawater,
- biological oceanography, microbial diversity, marine virology, virus diversity
- fisheries ecology, resource management, fish behaviour, science in public policy
- food webs, zooplankton, stable isotope ecology, coastal and pelagic ecosystems, phytoplankton
- marine geochemistry, chemical oceanography, isotope geochemistry, biogeochemical cycles,
- paleoceanography, earth systems science, coastal oceanography, polar marine ecosystems
Our department is also a leader at reshaping undergraduate science education in UBC. Most courses have been restructured with progressive, student-focused pedagogical practices that ensure you get the most out of your education.
Students gain quantitative, computing and scientific skills and perspectives in the context of oceanography topics that are applicable in wide range of occupations or studies. Students will benefit particularly from our …
- Interdisciplinary courses, faculty, and research
- A balance of industry, public sector and academic perspectives
- Attention to students, including small classes and a vibrant student community
- Strong relationships with geoscience, oceans, resource sector, and government organizations
- A departmental commitment to ongoing support of course-development
Courses involve hands-on labs, equipment and computing facilities related to physical ocean systems, fisheries, microbiology, ecosystem studies, advanced modelling capabilities, geochemistry and isotope studies, field studies and many more. Examples of the many facilities at EOAS include:
- Oceanographic field studies equipment and methods, including participation at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre on the west coast of Vancouver Island
- Significant cloud computing and parallel computing facilities for research and student project work
- Several active student clubs with dedicated space for undergraduates
- Access to other UBC science facilities through EOAS faculty who have cross-appointments in other departments.